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NURP conducts helium-based diving workshop
This story entered on 9th May, 2007 12:00:00 PM PST

On March 5 and 6, American Academy of Underwater Science (AAUS) hosted an “Introduction to Helium-Based Diving” workshop in conjunction with the 2007 Annual AAUS Scientific Diving Symposium. The workshop was planned and organized by Casey Coy (Florida Aquarium) and Rick Riera-Gomez (University of Miami). The purpose of this workshop was to introduce Diving Safety Officers and scientific divers to the techniques, skills, equipment, and diving theory needed to extend science diving to greater depths using staged decompression and helium based breathing gases. NOAA’s Undersea Research Program (NURP), Undersea Research Center (NURC), University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) Advanced Diving Technology Program was contracted to support the workshop’s classroom and field diving component.

Nine people participated in the training, which was conducted over a two-day period and included classroom, confined water, and open-water training. The first day of the workshop was conducted at University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and included classroom and pool training. The second day of the workshop was conducted at the NURC/UNCW facility in Key Largo, Florida, and included two open-circuit Scuba decompression Nitrox dives to the wreck of the Spiegel Grove (max depth 130 fsw).

The participants found the workshop very beneficial and went away with a greater appreciation of the equipment, procedures, and theory behind conducting staged decompression diving beyond 130 fsw when breathing bottom gases other than compressed air or Nitrox.

Contact information
Name: Thomas Potts

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Updated: June 20, 2007